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10.5.2024 |

Community Lead: Alex Bell

“What if the core purpose of education was as simple and as compelling as connecting the nervous system of the body to the social system of community to the ecosystem of the planet. To be in tune with each other?” asks HundrED Community Lead Alex Bell.

Where do you call home?

London, England and St Kitts & Nevis, Caribbean

How does education fit into your life?

It underpins everything I do. I’m blessed that my job is my hobby and my hobby is my job. I’m completely absorbed with the notion of how listening and learning can change absolutely everything for the better. Everything.

What brought you to educational innovation?

I grew up in a tiny hamlet on a beach in the bit of England that stretches out furthest to the rest of the world.

Staring out to sea turned me into a really good daydreamer. And at its heart, innovation starts with daydreaming. At one end of the beach was the busiest port of its size in the world at the time.  Each New Year a dozen tankers waiting to take Cornish china clay to the rest of the world would honk their ship’s horn at midnight wherever they came from - that gave me a lifelong passion for making global connections.

Teaching is a great way to remain a child, full of more questions than answers - constantly innovating and iterating. So, for me, I’m never happier than when daydreaming and feeding my global curiosity about what could be, and what should be, in education.

What are your biggest inspirations in educational innovation?

I love when people from really different contexts and disciplines are open to collaboration and learning from each other. In doing so, we are all reminded that none of us holds all the answers and inspiration comes from challenging what we thought we knew.

My biggest inspirations have always come from putting people, especially young people, together in a room or online and getting them to really be curious - to listen and learn from each other. Often, the bigger the difference in backgrounds then the greater the possibility of truly inspiring learning and innovation.

What challenges do you see facing the educational system today?

I think there are too many parts of the world where systems and jurisdictions have developed into something that is overcomplicated and unwieldy to the point of being the opposite of what young people and the world need. I think the greatest challenges are for us to return to simpler, more compelling and human-scale learning where our relationship with ourselves, each other and the planet underpin and lead every other aspect of our education system.

What are your hopes for the future of education?

That we place the full development of our humanity, authenticity and purpose, along with brave stewardship of our planet as the guiding principles of all that we do in the name of education.

Why did you choose to become a Community Lead?

I know of no other organisation globally who are as skilled as HundrED in nurturing communities of passionate and skilled education innovators who care about developing and championing each other’s innovations as much as what they are doing themselves.

My passion for education innovation has always transcended beyond my immediate country and community - so I relish the opportunity to build communities around the ideas that excite me and also the ones that keep me awake at night.

What are your goals as a Community Lead?

I have several core passions and burning curiosities in education around which I would love to build some global conversations. It goes without saying that I have more questions than answers. I would love to see if, by keeping those conversations going, we might find some innovative answers that might make a positive contribution to the lives and learnings of others around the world.

How can our members get involved?

Here’s a question to start the conversation. It’s one that I’m currently obsessed with, so if we can move just a tiny bit closer to understanding and answering it then we will have done something profoundly good:

“What if the core purpose of education was as simple and as compelling as connecting the nervous system of the body to the social system of community to the ecosystem of the planet. To be in tune with each other?”

I’d love as many people as possible in the HundrED community and beyond to help figure that one out. Everyone’s invited to get involved and none of us is as smart as all of us together.

Drop me a message and let’s get going.

Connect with Alex and continue the conversation!

Alex  Bell